Los Angeles Officials Plead With Drivers To Stop Texting
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Los Angeles Officials Plead With Drivers To Stop Texting

Despite Los Angeles County’s bold Vision Zero initiative, whose goals include eliminating deaths due to traffic accidents, the number of traffic deaths remains very high in Los Angeles.

LAPD: Plan Can’t Be Achieved as Long as Drivers Use Cell Phones

Los Angeles County officials have been criticized sharply for the relative failure of the plan. But police department officials believe that the widespread use of cellphones contributes to the problem – and that the problem of traffic deaths can’t be stopped until cellphone use in vehicles stops.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore recently called for drivers to stop texting and using their smartphones as they drive. They may be “driving 30, 40, 50 mph … put their head down to pick up a text or handle a call, and they move 100 yards, and they drive over someone,” he said at a news conference, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Moreover, they are modeling unsafe driving practices for the next generation, according to Moore, who noted such drivers are “teaching a generation of children today in the back seat what to do with that cellphone.”

Traffic Fatalities Remain High Despite Vision Zero

In 2019, Los Angeles saw 244 traffic fatalities, a drop of just 0.8% from the prior year. Nineteen were biking and 134 were pedestrians.

Since Vision Zero began five years ago, traffic fatalities have actually climbed one-third. In the first year of the initiative, 2016, the number of deaths actually went up significantly, from 183 to 253.

The launch of Vision Zero set several benchmarks: a 20% fall in traffic deaths in 2017 and a 50% decrease by 2020. Unless fatalities in 2020 drop 100 from 2019 levels, that won’t be reached.

In addition to urging people not to urge cellphones, Los Angeles has put energy and effort into other methods of reducing traffic deaths, including modifying streets, including crosswalks, traffic signals, and intersections to make traffic patterns safer.

Pedestrians represent a high proportion of people killed in Los Angeles – 55% last year and 40% in 2015, versus representing just 8% of those involved in collisions.

A Southern California Car Accident Lawyer Can Fight for Justice

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or other traffic accident that has caused injuries or death, you don’t need to be told that Vision Zero is not working as planned. That is especially true if the accident was caused by a driver texting or using a cellphone in other ways while driving. Make no mistake: using a cellphone for any purpose while driving is against the law in California, unless it is a hands-free phone that is voice-operated.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in any type of traffic accident in Los Angeles, let Ellis Law Corporation fight to see that justice is done, as we have been doing for over two decades.

Please call today for a free initial appointment to discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.

Additional Resources:

  1. Los Angeles County. Vision Zero: A Plan for Safer Roadways, 2020-2025. https://pw.lacounty.gov/visionzero/docs/SCAG-LACounty-VZ-Action-Plan-ver-D-hiRes-single-11-25-2019-rev.pdf.
  2. Nelson, Laura J. As L.A. traffic deaths stay high, officials plead with drivers to stop texting. Los Angeles Times. February 5, 2020. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-02-05/vision-zero-los-angeles-traffic-collisions-deaths-2019.

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